US Global Change Research Program Releases Fifth National Climate Assessment

The US Global Change Research Program released its Fifth National Climate Assessment, a Congressionally mandated report every four years that details the Program’s findings on the impacts of climate change on the natural environment, water resources, and more.

Regarding water, the Assessment highlights the following:

  • Increased frequency and intensity in precipitation events in some regions, causing nutrient runoff and subsequent harmful algal blooms,
  • Expected increase in drought frequency in other regions, continuing to strain surface water and groundwater supplies and lowering water levels in reservoirs and aquifer decline,
  • Saltwater intrusion will continue as sea levels continue to rise, and
  • Decreasing inland snowpack altering stream volume and timing, contributing to wildfire risk.

The assessment recommends reservoir optimization, water reuse, and regional collaboration on flood risk and flood hazard management.